Three Point Six Hours

Today is the first day since July that I am completely childless—for four hours.

This means I have approximately 3.6 hours of “me” time. To do whatever I want.

Much of this last year “whatever I want” has equaled “whatever I must do”. Sure I’ll sneak a quick ten minutes of facebook or reading in throughout the day, but a nice long period of time during which I can write—uninterrupted—it’s been almost impossible to come by.

Healthy frozen banana peanut butter nutella ice cream.

The quest for a healthy summer snack led me to peanut butter nutella ice cream – made without cream, just frozen bananas. And peanut butter. And a bit of nutella. HUGE hit.

Three.

Three fiction stories—two less than 500 words—are all I’ve written in the last year. Those that follow my blog know the posts here have been few and sporadic, even though my mind is bursting to put my children’s words and stories down before my brain buries them. 

I’ve been offline more, not reading blogs, not tweeting, and cursing facebook for clogging my feed every time a friend likes a page. 

I’ve been trying to be a better mom. Pinterest and Google are most of my online time now, typically recipe hunting as I try to find ones both children will eat that have some nutritional content.

My house is still a disaster. 

My baby, my Angel Kiss, my Lil Diva, turned four a week ago.

I’m still in denial.

Her inherent sweetness is now often smothered by Overly Dramatic Contrary Girl (ODCG), especially in the afternoons and evenings. I find myself missing her two and three-year-old persona and dreading the teen years.

ODCG makes everything take longer than it should. She drains my energy, my patience. Pair her with The Tackler, and I want to lock myself in my room.

The moments and hours ODCG leaves, I want to wrap her in a hug, and tell her to stay that way forever.

Rare photo of me with my daughter on her 4th birthday.

The math has to be wrong. I still feel like I’m twenty-six. I could not have been twenty years since I took chemistry class, because that means I did so in kindergarten.

I have so much to say, words itching to appear on my screen, and cannot find time when I am coherent enough to type them.

But I’m going to. Somehow.

Because one day this whole meal planning thing will get easier, right? My children won’t hate the food I enjoy. I won’t take twice the preparation time to do something simple.  I might learn how to create a dish without a base recipe to build from.

Maybe.

I just know I need to post here more, for me.

I need to finish writing my book.

I need at least five clones, but I figure my six-and-a-half-year-old will have the process figured out in two years, or have designed robotic alternatives.

Until then it’s one baby step at a time to reclaim my writing self.

* * *

How do you balance your “me” time with your “must do” time? Any secrets?

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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4 Responses to Three Point Six Hours

  1. Kir Piccini says:

    I’m always just glad to see your name and blog pop up in my email.
    I love that picture of you and your daughter…your smile says a million words.

    My Muse has been hiding and ignoring me quite a bit too, but you’ll get there and when you do, I’ll be here reading.
    Just nice to see your smile my friend.

  2. Katie says:

    I hear you on the fours! Just last night at dinner, I asked J, “When do you turn. 5 again?” He must contradict us and argue about EVERYTHING! Glad to know it’s not just us!

    Finding balance is so hard. Is it even possible at this stage? I hear not, I just haven’t goin it yet! Though my crock pot helps…

  3. You have no idea how happy I am that you’ve been busier soaking it all up than writing it all down.
    In fact, I’ve found that writing about my children is easier with a little distance from the age.

    So don’t bemoan the fact that you haven’t recorded ALL their fabulousness this past year. You’ll remember the stuff that’s worth writing about and everything else you’ve been busy LIVING.

    Wonderful.

    As for making the most of those three point six hours?
    Good luck with that.

    These days of ours fill themselves then overflow.
    If we’re lucky.

    Which we are.
    XOXO

    p.s. But yes. You need to finish your book someday. Because you do.

  4. Kathleen says:

    There is no balance, only teetering on a seesaw and correcting when it goes too far in any one direction. I think I don’t do enough with my family…ever. I always wonder if I’m going to regret that one day. But I think I’m parenting the way I was parented, and my parents have adjusted so gracefully to every change. I have to cling to that and pray I’m doing the right things at the right time.

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